Dangal: Bollywood’s Adaptation of the Phogat Family is Admirable but it Plays in the Standard Bollywood Template of Sports Films

Starring: Aamir Khan(Mahavir Singh Phogat), Sakshi Tanwar (Wife of Mahavir Singh Phogat), Zaira Wasim(Young Geeta Phogat), Sanya Malhotra (Babita Kumari Phogat), Suhani Bhatnagar (Young Babita Phogat), Fatima Sana Shaikh (Geeta Phogat)

Director: Nitesh Tiwari

Music: Pritam

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Aamir Khan and his latest project Dangal has been on the Bollywood watch list for a long time. The film portrays the life of the Phogat sisters and like any other Aamir film, Dangal has gone through a two year course of metamorphic development and hardcore training accompanied by sheer dedication. Dangal does justice to all the hype and wait behind it to ensure that India’s meritorious Phogat family get the perfect Bollywood credit and we end 2016 with the perfect cinema bout.

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The film starts strong and like any other big Bollywood project makes a bold impression from its first scene. Taking the first few minutes to gush through the background of Mahavir Phogat, Dangal hurries through its genesis to begin unfolding its main plot.

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Blindfolded by his dream to win India a gold medal in wrestling, Mahavir(Aamir) is taken by surprise when he sees his daughters bash up two local lads. In his quest to transform his young and feeble girls to gusty and strong wrestlers, Mahavir, the coach takes up their training on a serious note. As you feel sorry for the young girls, being exploited with intense train and extreme physical hardships, Mahavir plays the strict coach yet soft hearted father.

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Despite a very rugged and average script, Dangal infuses moments of laughter, tears and balanced emotion in its due course of 170 minutes. Perfected Haryanvi accent, spot on wrestling tactics/terminologies and logical training tactics makes Dangal a perfect sports film. Besides its wrestling/sport genre, Dangal plays along the father-daughter relationship of Mahavir and his daughters, Gita and Babita, which is not only strict and coarse, but also stirring and rather emotional at times.
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Aamir Khan and his efforts add multiple feathers in Dangal’s cap as the film centralizes around Bollywood’s perfectionist. Fatima Sheikh, playing Geeta Phogat, makes an incredible mark in her first film as a senior actor and makes sure she pulls of the character leaving no stone unturned. The cast is supported by the television vintage star, Sakshi Tanwar, whose character adds the frequent dosage of comedy and emotion as per the director’ taste.

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Director Nitesh Tiwari puts behind his flaws with films like Bhootnath Returns and Kill Dill to show some top grade maturity in his direction with Dangal. The film is picturised mostly across Harayana and Punjab featuring ‘akkharaas’(wrestling clubs) and ‘khets’(farm lands). Dangal scores on all points of a perfect train journey, from station to staion, but towards its end Dangal gives off the scent of films like Mary Kom, Saala Khadoos and Chak de India. Aamir’s pep speech to his daughter before her final doubt feels like Sharukh’s ‘Sattar Minute’ speech in Chak De,while the twist in the tail reminds us of this year’s boxing drama, Saala Khadoos.

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Despite, its one minor flaw Dangal is a great show and needs to be applauded. The film once again goes onto highlight the loophole in Indian sports and Government agencies and is a morale boost up for the female sports personalities and aspirants of our country. To sum up 2016, Dangal is a must watch as per The Cinema Station’s recommendation.

My Rating: First Class AC Journey (4.75/5)

 

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